35018 British India Line (SR 21C18 & Br 35018)

21C18 was built at Eastleigh in 1945 where it was the first MN class locomotive to be rebuilt only 11 years later and withdrawn from service just 8 years later in 1964.

When rebuilt in February 1956 the total mileage in service amounted to 504,900 miles which had increased to 956,544 miles at the time of its final withdrawal from service.

In October 1946 the locomotive hauled the first post-war working of the Bournemouth Belle.

In the 1948 it was one of four Merchant Navy class locomotives chosen to take part in the Locomotive Exchange Trials.  35018 represented the Southern Region on its home ground where it hauled the Atlantic Coast Express between Waterloo and Exeter.

In September 1949 it was painted in the standard express passenger livery of blue but in July 1951 it was turned out in Brunswick green.

35018 spent most of its working life under BR ownership based at Nine Elms. The only other depot it was allocated to was Bournemouth from October to December 1960.

British India Line was renumbered 35018 following nationalisation of the railways in 1948.

It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and arrived at Woodham Brothers scrapyard the in March 1965. It stayed here until 1980 following its purchase by Richard Heather and John Bunch at the end of 1979.

35018 arrived at the Mid Hants Railway in March 1980 along with a 6,000 gallon tender from 35025 Brocklebank Line.

Restoration work started whilst the locomotive was at the Mid Hants Railway but it left there in 2003 when it left for the Isle of Portland after being acquired by the South Coast Steam Ltd. After being left here for 8 years it was moved to Carnforth, which is the base for West Coast Railways, in 2011.

35018 was restored with the aim of running on the main line again. By August 2016 work was well under way with the boiler and frames having been reunited with the frames and the motion on although there still remained much pipework and reassembly to do.

In November 2016 35018 steamed again for the first time since it was withdrawn from service in 1964 when it moved around the yard at Carnforth. It has been outshopped at Carnforth in non-authentic black livery but this may not be its final livery.

In May 2017 it undertook a light test run from Carnforth to Hellifield and back and another two months later it underwent a loaded test run .

It then hauled its inaugural railtour at the end of September from Carnforth to York but failed at York.

In March 2018 the locomotive underwent a loaded test run between Carnforth and Hellifield and later that month it returned to the main line to haul a train from Carnforth to Shrewsbury and back.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
West Coast RailwaysOperationalRichard Heather and John Bunch
35018 British India Line arriving at Bournemouth from Waterloo with a relief crew waiting to take the train forward. – July 1958
35018 British India Line heads the Bournemouth Belle through Basingstoke – May 1961
35018 British India Line on Nine Elms shed – October 1963
35018 British India Line restarts from Basingstoke with a boat train from Southampton – May 1964
35018 British India Line at Salisbury – August 1964
35018 British India Line in Woodham's scrapyard at Barry - September 1973.jpg
35018 British India Line in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – September 1973
35018 British India Line in Woodham's scrapyard at Barry - 1975
35018 British India Line in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – 1975
35018 British India Line leaving York with the Scarborough Spa Express – May 2018
35018 British India Line heading north with the Dalesman – May 2018
35018 British India Line hauling the Dalesman from Helliefield to Carlisle at Ribblehead – August 2019

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